Women’s World Cup: Will U.S. victory tour include coach Jill Ellis?

Jill Ellis is the first woman to coach World Cup teams to back-to-back championships.
(Elsa / Getty Images)

The newly minted Women’s World Cup champions will begin a multigame victory tour Aug. 3 in Pasadena provided the Rose Bowl board, which will meet Monday, approves a proposal for the game.

“The Rose Bowl is thrilled at the potential of hosting the opening match of the victory tour of the World Cup champions,” said Darryl Dunn, the stadium’s chief executive and general manager.

The game’s announcement came less than an hour after U.S. coach Jill Ellis talked about the importance of supporting the domestic leagues that develop World Cup players. And that set off a brief firestorm on social media because two National Women’s Soccer League games involving national team players are also scheduled for Aug. 3.

That might not be Ellis’ problem, as her contract with U.S. Soccer expires at the end of this month. Although she has an option to come back, Ellis said Sunday that she’s uncertain whether she will accept it.


“I can’t even think about that right now,” she said. “Right now, it’s about just enjoying this moment. I said to the players in the pregame [meeting] that we have to take this game one minute, one moment, one decision at a time. And I kind of live by that.

“So I think for me right now, I’m just going to circle this in and enjoy it and celebrate with my players.”

Ellis might be due for a move. Her 127 games as coach of the women’s national team are the most ever, and her 102 wins rank second to the late Tony DiCicco, who had 105. She’s also undefeated in 14 games as a World Cup coach and is the only woman to coach her team to back-to-back titles.


Ellis has said she was interested in coaching a men’s team, and, at 52, this might be the best time to make that move. She recently got her pro coaching license, making her the only woman to pass the course in the three years it has been offered, and she reportedly impressed several MLS coaches who took the course with her.

“I would definitely say it’s crossed my mind,” she said this past spring of coaching a men’s team. “After the national team, this is what I say to you. My experience going through the pro-license [course] with a lot of MLS head coaches and assistant coaches, what I took away from that is it isn’t that different. The game is the game.”

The U.S. team is scheduled to leave Lyon on a charter flight Monday afternoon and will make a round of media interviews in New York on Tuesday before being honored with a ticker-tape parade Wednesday. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will then present players with keys to the city.

Rose just beginning to flower?


Rose Lavelle, who sealed the U.S. win Sunday with the team’s second goal, not only took a gold medal home from her first Women’s World Cup, but she also was presented with the Bronze Ball, which goes to the third-best player in the tournament.

And while the 24-year-old kept the trophy, she gave the credit for her winning it to her teammates.

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“I have such amazing players around me. It’s easy to look good when you play with all these incredible players,” said the bubbly Lavelle, whose ball-handling skills repeatedly frustrated opponents. “I feel so lucky to be a part of this group.


“It’s wild how far I’ve come. I just won a WC with people I grew up idolizing. I can’t put it into words.”

Can you hear me now?

Ellis’ postgame news conference Sunday was interrupted when her cellphone, tucked in the pocket of her gray U.S. Soccer windbreaker, began to ring.

“Oh, that’s me. That’s probably my mother FaceTiming me,” an embarrassed Ellis said.


Then after a glance at her phone, she looked up and said: “It is. Mom, sorry can’t talk right now. She’s probably pissed. She’s Scottish.”


The 52-game tournament in France drew 1.13 million fans, according to organizers, an average of 21,756 per game. That’s the fourth-highest average attendance in history but down from each of the last three tournaments. There were 146 goals scored, an average of 2.81 per game, the same number as four years ago in Canada. | Twitter: @kbaxter11